Donald Trump’s approval ratings have always been embarrassingly low, but his numbers have somehow found a new bottom. After failing to appropriately condemn the violence perpetrated by White supremacist groups in Virginia over the weekend, the president’s approval fell to an all-time low of 34%, according to a recent Gallup poll.
After initially dismissing what happened in Charlottesville as “violence on many sides”, Trump since revised his statement, adding: “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to what we hold dear as Americans.”
But it was too little, too late. Republicans are finally starting to distance themselves from the president and, following his tepid response to the weekend’s chaos, have finally stopped leaping to his defense.
As Trump continues to sink to depths never before seen this early in a presidency, how safe is his job? And now that the Republicans are frantically trying to uncuff themselves from their leader, is impeachment finally a real possibility? Let’s take a look at the numbers.
Normally, a president experiences a “honeymoon period” after being elected. But if that’s the case for Trump, then his honeymoon started at a measly 45%. If this is still part of the honeymoon period, then what on earth will his numbers look like when it ends?
Trump will always have his base, voters who will stand by him no matter what. And because of them, it’s hard to imagine his numbers sinking too much lower. You can’t sink any further when you’re already hit rock bottom.
Despite his dismal ratings, it’s likely that Trump finishes the year as Commander-in-Chief. The Republicans still control both chambers of Congress, and even though they’re finally speaking out against him, they are still voting with Trump at almost every chance they get.
Actions speak louder than words, and right now there are a lot of words coming from the Senate and House Republicans — but very little action.
With Trump’s numbers so low, many Republicans are eyeing a run in 2020. Senators Ben Sasse and Tom Cotton have already made the rounds in Iowa, a surefire signal of presidential ambition. And vice president Mike Pence is running what the New York Times called a “shadow campaign for 2020”.
It’s pretty rare for a sitting president to be primaried, but if it ever makes sense to run a different candidate, it’s now.
After finally deciding to denounce the KKK, neo-Nazis, and other white supremacist groups, Donald Trump is apparently seriously considering pardoning ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio, a former Arizona sheriff embroiled in a racial profiling case. The 85-year-old, who defied court orders barring him from conducting “immigration roundups”, was recently found guilty of criminal contempt.
There are also quite a few Trump associates connected to the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. This includes Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his own son, Don Jr. Then there’s the murky issue of whether he is able to pardon himself.
Trump’s loyalty is a fickle thing, but a pardon could prevent his former-loyalists from ratting him out.
Photo Credit: Mark Taylor (flickr) [Creative Commons]
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